Beginning Feb. 1, the Illinois Supreme Court will be running its Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) compliance requirements entirely online. Attorneys will be required to report their MCLE compliance electronically, and the agency that oversees the Court’s MCLE program will send notices via the internet as well.
“The new requirement will make reporting easier, quicker and more convenient than keeping track of the paper reporting form and getting it mailed in by the deadline,” said J. Randall Cox, chair of the ISBA Standing Committee on CLE and a partner in Springfield firm of Feldman Wasser.
According to the Supreme Court’s press release announcing the change, the amended Supreme Court Rule 769 marks “the latest example of the Court’s ongoing efforts to utilize technology to make the judicial process and legal profession more efficient.”
“It won’t be a significant change because 83 percent of lawyers were already voluntarily reporting their MCLE compliance online,” said Cox.
The Court is moving to various other forms of electronic form submission, including its May approval of Rule 765, which requires attorneys to register online with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission rather than by mail.
“Lawyers are embracing technology more and more in their practices. This new requirement is just a reflection of that reality,” said Cox.
The Court’s MCLE requirements were established in 2005, and requires Illinois attorneys to participate in a mandatory number of hours of continued legal education per year. According to the original Rule 769, attorneys were required to submit certification either online or by mail. With the amendment, attorneys will be required to submit their yearly certifications online.
Prior to the amendment, online registration was optional. With online registration, the Supreme Court hopes that errors in certificate submission and collection will be reduced.